The Victoria Inner Harbour is very much the center of activity in the British Columbian capital. Basically an extension of the downtown area, this lively hub is popular with tourists. This a lot to do with its picturesque appeal and the wonderful attractions on or near the water. Not to be missed when visiting Victoria, The Inner Harbour has plenty to offer.
Victoria Inner Harbour
Victoria grew up around the Inner Harbour, and the area has always remained significant. It has also been welcoming tourists for decades on end. The picturesque appeal is hard to deny, and it is largely bolstered by two major landmarks. These landmarks are the famed Empress Hotel and the palatial Victoria Parliament Buildings. Should the budget allow, a stay at the Empress will not disappoint, though you might just drop by to admire the beauty of the structure and to take in high tea. Afternoon tea in Victoria is popular, as you will quickly find out on a visit to this lovely Pacific Northwest city.
The Victoria Parliament Buildings is also known for its beauty, and while the complex is still used for legislative affairs, visitors can drop by and enjoy a free guided tour. The peak summer tourism season sees these tours being offered on a daily basis, and no reservations are needed.
Among the main streets in Victoria is Government Street, and it helps to frame the Inner Harbour area. The two other streets that frame in the harbor's core area are Wharf Street and Belleville Street. Right off Belleville Street on the southern side of the harbor is where you will find the Victoria ferry port, while the Empress Hotel dominates the strip of Government Street along the harbor's eastern edge. To the north and east of the Empress Hotel unfolds the main downtown core and the inviting Old Town district.
Some of the best shopping in Victoria can be had between the Inner Harbour, Old Town, and downtown area, and the dining and lodging options are also splendid. As for the northern side of the Inner Harbour, it is more industrial in nature than the other sides, though parts are being redeveloped.
Visitors to Victoria's Inner Harbour area can find any number of ways to fill some time. Just a short walk from the water is the renowned Royal BC Museum, for example. On the southern side of the harbor, the historic residential neighborhood of James Bay unfolds, and it is prime for walking tours. Also worth including on an area walking tour itinerary is Laurel Point Park. Situated on the harbor waters, this park offers a great series of paths. Coincidentally, should you be looking for a good place to stay while in town, the Laurel Point Inn can make for a fine base. It's one of the best Victoria resort hotels, and it overlooks both the harbor waters and Laurel Point Park.
A number of hotels are located near the waters of Victoria's Inner Harbour. Others include the Days Inn Hotel Victoria on the Harbour, the Best Western Plus Inner Harbour, and the luxurious Hotel Grand Pacific, all of which are found on the southern side. On the northern edge, the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa has little trouble attracting guests with its upscale amenities and facilities.
Tourists should also know that the Inner Harbour is a great place to arrange a Victoria fishing or whale watching excursion. Various tour operations are based there. Also worth noting is the fact that a tourist information center can be found in the Inner Harbour at 812 Wharf Street. This center provides all kinds of information and can help visitors maximize their Victoria vacation experience.